Newest Review: ... People who havent played the original, won't necessarily be as swept away or impressed, considering the original is a source ... more
DK Returns to the Country
Donkey Kong Country (GBA)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Donkey Kong Country (GBA)
Advantages: Classic, Music, Levels, Mini Games, All Original Aspects
Disadvantages: Slightly altered music, Fishing
Finally the Super Nintendo cult classic is available on the go. One of my absolute favorite games as a child, Rare's Donkey Kong Country on Game Boy Advance rolls back the years, all the way to 1994 when it was released. While a graphical breakthrough at the time, played on a home console, its now demoted to a pocket system, still with crystal clear, simple graphics that made it so successful. Its not just the graphics that made the game though, the music made a massive contribution too with a soundtrack of over 20 different themes for the menus, minigames and levels. The songs fit in seamlessly due to the many jungle like noises, exotic melodies and effects (anyone who's played this game remembers the underwater levels and the hypnotic music that made it so unforgettable). People who havent played the original, won't necessarily be as swept away or impressed, considering the original is a source of nostalgia for many, but they would still find addictive amusement in the games engrossingly difficult levels, blurry minigames and rich environments. Speaking of which, the landscapes in game are lush, vibrant areas that make use of all colours, a deep marine blue for lakes, rusty red for dusty caverns and mines, yellow for sunny temple ruins, green for thick forrest/jungles/polluted ponds.. its pure eye candy.
The gist of the game is to get through each level going from left to right, as your trusty ape companions Donkey or Diddy Kong. Collecting bannas (collecting 100 adds 1 Life), letters (that spell out K.O.N.G) and halfway checkpoints. The main goal is to get to the very end of the level, avoiding holes and enemies (lizards, rats, snakes, crocodiles, beavers) and onto the next by any means - you can find rhinos, ostriches, swordfish or a frog (all available in minigames to give you more lives by collecting gold within levels). You can sprint, fly, swim and jump your way to completion with these friendly critters and even use them to find otherwise inaccessible areas. You often face bosses towards the end of zones, that offer different types of gameplay. The main plot however is paper thin as many older games were - you just have to get through the levels (and survive) and eventually find enough bananas to satisfy Donkey Kong. Press A to jump, B to roll or hold to sprint, use the directional pad to move about, the triggers to swap characters (Donkey Kong can knock out stronger enemies, whilst Diddy Kong can sprint faster and is much more agile). The game has a standard save option when far enough into certain zones and even a little minigame not found on the original, where you basically hook octopi out of the water.. its not very fun and a bit of a pointless addition, the only blemish on an otherwise brilliant rerelease.
The only differences between the orignal SNES version and this, the GBA re release, are the musical change (due to the Gameboys speaker) and the aforementioned unnecessary fishing game, which some people may find fun. Other than that, nothing has changed and the game is now available to play away from a tv screen and wired console and concerning the varied length of the levels, you can get away with playing it on the bus, train, long journeys in general etc and still never tire of it, plus its rated +3 by PEGI so everyone can enjoy it. One of the best Nintendo games available, in 1994 and at present.
Summary: Awesome ReRelease